When viewing a house for a private showing or even an open house, there are always important things that you may miss. It’s inevitable. Luckily there are safeguards put in place during the sale to make sure any imperfections come to light. Multiple inspections will be completed to help sweep the house of any inconsistencies. Your real estate agent will also have a keen eye if you need them as a resource. Some of these imperfections should be brought to light before those inspectors even get involved. Let’s take a look at some of the common things you should look out for when viewing a home for the first time.
1. State of the Yard + Landscaping
Before you even step one foot into the house you are touring, take a long gander at the landscaping and overall upkeep of the front of the yard. Here, in Southern Utah, fresh-looking green grass is very hard to maintain given our hot desert climate. Luckily, many neighborhood residents stay on top of watering their grass. If you are viewing a home with a less than adequate yard, this may indicate poor upkeep or issues with irrigation systems on the property or worse, serious pest infestations. Another common trend with landscaping is the incorporation of red rock (obviously!). Sometimes when landscapers put in rocks, they can be organized in a way that will turn everything to mud or the foundations will give way. Although this may not lead to large sums of money coming out of your pockets for landscaping services, it is still something you should be aware of.
2. Condition of Floors
As soon as you walk into the main entrance of the home, take in your surrounding completely. There are of course, many different types of flooring you will be viewing. You may encounter wood floors, linoleum, or concrete. Whichever flooring you are stepping on, be sure to observe it closely and inspect for any defects. Do the floors look outdated, warped, or distressed? Are there any cracks larger than the typical hairline crack (1/8 of an inch)? Does the wood have purposeful gloss to it?
Warped flooring typically indicates that there was previously a water problem or even a flood. If you do see these flaws, take a mental note. If you decide to move forward with an offer, you’ll want to mention your initial concerns to the inspector. Another thing you should look out for is the durability of the floor. Does it feel bouncy or do you feel movement in your step? This may imply that again, a flooding issue had occurred or there was an issue with termites.
These details are important to keep your eye out for because it could lead to serious issues down the road which could mean thousands of dollars coming out of your pocket for repairs.
3. Condition of Walls
The walls are also a key point you should closely look at. When you look at the walls, do you see any water marks that could imply internal water damage or mold? Walk up to the wall and lightly touch it. Assess whether the wall seems as if it was “freshly” painted. The state of the walls and floors will tell you how inclined the sellers are to leave their buyers with a sanitary and quality home.
If you happen to encounter any strange odors while touring a house, be sure to give the walls a good sniff (we’re not kidding). Remaining odors could be caused from indoor smoking, fireplace irrigation issues, or, once again, water issues.
4. Natural Lighting + Air Flow
Obviously natural lighting is always a plus, but if a home is without a lot of natural lighting you should start calculating the need for additional utility expenses. As you walk through the different spaces in the house, take note of the natural lighting in the common areas where you plan to spend a lot of time.
Along the same lines as lighting, pause for a moment and take in the general air flow. Is it warmer in certain places than others? Is the air conditioner running on full blast? Although heating and cooling expenses is not a common fear for us desert-living folk, it is still something worth recognizing.
The Bottom Line
If you’re worried about missing key elements, don’t stress. Even if you feel like you left the showing without fully investigating any potential issues, there will still be several rounds of inspections and before you send over your earnest money check. Talk to your agent. Take several walkthroughs. Everything will be fine. With a little patience, you will have your dream home in no time.
We hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy during this historical time in our lives. The Shaffer team consists of real estate professionals in Southern Utah, specializing in selling homes. We work with talented photographers, stagers and lenders to ensure your home buying or selling process is efficient and smooth. Call us to learn more about the area and to understand how we can help you find your dream home at (435) 525-0079.